Garbage

Garbage1

GARBAGE REQUEST FORM

The Des Moines Public Works Department Solid Waste division is responsible for weekly collection of garbage from Des Moines residences.  Garbage pickup occurs on an assigned day designated by your address. You can look up your day on Show Me My House to see what day of the week your garbage will be picked up and use the Holiday Schedule to determine which holidays will cause a delay in your garbage pickup.

Garbage collection starts when you set up your water service with Des Moines Water Works at (515) 283-8700. Garbage carts should be there when you move in. 

The City of Des Moines Public Works Department Solid Waste Division is responsible for collecting and disposing of garbage, recyclables and yard debris through curbside collection and community SCRUB events.

Hours of Operation and Contact Information
  • Call our 24-hour Customer Service Center at (515) 283-4950
  • Address: 216 SE 5th St., Des Moines, IA 50309
  • Solid Waste operations: Monday through Friday - 7 a.m.- 3:30 p.m.

Garbage Links

Garbage Schedule

When is my garbage collection day?
Garbage is collected weekly. Enter your address into Show Me My House to find your pick up day.
What time and how should I place my garbage cart at the curb?

Municipal code states collection carts are allowed at your curbside 12 hours before your collection date, and must be removed within 12 hours after your collection date.

  • Place cart at curb no later than 7 a.m. on garbage day (or) no earlier than 5 p.m. the day before  

  • Place at curb on a level surface (no more than 18” from the street or arm’s length) 

  • Cart should be at least 3 feet from all permanent structures. This includes other collection carts, yard bags or bundles, mailboxes, fences, wall, utility poles and other stationary items on the curb. 

  • Metal bar must face the street 

  • The lid must be closed

  • Do not over fill the cart

  • Do not place cart under low hanging tree branches

  • Remove cart from collection point after collection

Holiday Collection
Please see the holiday schedule for garbage, recycling, and yard waste pickup, which may differ from holiday office closures for the City of Des Moines.

How to Dispose of Garbage

How do I prepare my garbage cart for collection day?
  • Put your garbage inside the cart
  • Close the cart lid.  This prevents the scattering of debris by wind and animals
  • Place at curb no later than 7 a.m. on garbage day, no earlier than 5 p.m. the day before
  • Place at curb on a level surface (no more than 18” from the street, or arms length)
  • Cart should be at least 3 feet from all permanent structures. (other collection carts, yard bags or bundles, mailboxes, fences, wall, utility poles and other stationary items on the curb)
  • Metal bar must face the street
  • The lid must be closed.  Do not over fill the cart
  • DO NOT place cart under low hanging tree branches
What if I have too much to fit in the garbage cart?
Extra trash items require a pink $1 Extra Trash Sticker attached to each bag or box. 

Items that require pink $1 Extra Trash stickers include:
  • Extra trash bags or boxes no larger than 2'x2'x3' placed outside the garbage cart  
  • Items that fit in a 33-gallon bag or box no larger than 2’x2’x3’  
  • These items cannot exceed 40 lbs.
Properly stickered items must be curbside before 7 a.m. on regular collection day.   
 
Bulk Items that are too big to fit in a garbage cart require a pink $5 Large Item Sticker attached to each item.

Bulk items that require pink $5 Large Item stickers include:
  • Items that do not fit in a 33-gallon bag or a 2'x2'x3' box
  • Furniture including couches and tables 
  • Mattresses
  • Rolled carpet (carpet must be rolled and tied and be no larger than 4 feet long and 18 inches in diameter) 1 $5 sticker for 5 rolls
Call the 24-Hour Customer Service Center at (515) 283-4950 to schedule your collection which must be done a minimum of 24-hours before your normal collection day. Properly stickered items must be curbside before 7 a.m., with stickers facing toward the street. 

What CAN go in the garbage cart?
  • Garbage/trash in disposable plastic bags or boxes placed inside the cart.  

  • Styrofoam  

  • Plastic Bags  

  • Paper products – Tissues, Napkins, toilet paper and paper towels  

  • Aluminum foil  

  • Lids from jars  

  • Paper contaminated with food  

  • Empty containers that once held motor oil or antifreeze  

What CAN'T go in the garbage cart?
  • Tires can be taken to the MWA Metro Park East Landfill. For more information, call (515) 967-2076 or WhereItShouldGo.com 

  • Hazardous Waste (including batteries, garden chemicals, oil-based paints, and propane) as well as syringes and lancets can be taken to the MWA Hazardous Waste drop-off site located at 1105 Prairie Drive SW in Bondurant, IA. For more information, call (515) 967-5512 or visit WhereItShouldGo.com 

  • Other items such as railroad ties, pianos, landscape timbers, big screen TV’s and garage doors – MWA Metro Park East Landfill Phone 515-967-2076 or WhereItShouldGo.com 

  • Yard Waste should be discarded in a City of Des Moines Yard Waste cart, in "Compost It!" bags or bags with "Compost It!" stickers.

 

How do I dispose of appliances?
The collection fee is $35 per appliance. It requires seven (7) $5, pink, City of Des Moines large item stickers. Appliances must be scheduled for collection on the next Monday. To schedule pick-up, call (515) 283-4950.

Here is a list of appliances that require the appropriate pink stickers:
  • Air Conditioners
  • Clothes Dryers
  • Clothes Washers
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Dishwashers
  • Freezers
  • Furnaces
  • Microwave Ovens
  • Ovens/Stoves/Ranges
  • Refrigerators
  • Water Heaters 
What other services does Des Moines offer for disposing of garbage?

The City of Des Moines Public Works Department Solid Waste Division hosts SCRUB events March-November.

MEGA SCRUB events are also hosted during some months.

For our full SCRUB Calendar and SCRUB Guidelines, visit DSM.city/SCRUB.

You can deliver appliances directly to the MWA Metro Park East Landfill at 12181 NE 12th Avenue (Highway 163) in Mitchellville. For more information, call (515) 967-2076.

Hazardous waste can be taken to the MWA Hazardous Waste drop-off site at 1105 Prairie Drive SW in Bondurant. For more information, call (515) 967-5512 or visit www.WhereItShouldGo.com

Service Requests

How do I start Des Moines garbage service?
Garbage collection starts when you set up your water service with Des Moines Water Works at (515) 283-8700. Garbage carts should be there when you move in. 
How much does standard garbage collection service cost?

Collection fees are billed to your Des Moines Water Works bill each month.

Service   Fee  Notes
 64 Gallon Garbage Cart  $14.56 per month  
 96 Gallon Garbage Cart  $15.66 per month  
How do I request non-curbside collection service if I have a disability?
The City of Des Moines provides non-curbside collection services for individuals who are physically unable to place their collection carts at the curb or alley for regular collection.
  • Eligibility Requirements for this Program are: 
    • A physicians’ statement verifying a disability that prevents moving the collection carts to the curb
    • No other member of the household is able to move the cart to the curb
  • Application Process: 
    • Contact the Department of Public Works, 24-Hour Customer Service Center at (515) 283-4950 to request an appointment to fill out application ( or)  complete a request for an appointment using our online form. (Appointments are made for your next garbage collection day)
    • A City of Des Moines Department of Public Works Solid Waste Foreman will stop at your residence to explain program details, requirements and complete an application for each person living there. The Foreman will give you paperwork to be filled out by your Physician
    • You will be placed on the route for non-curbside collection services when we receive the physician's paperwork
There is no fee for this service.
What do I do if my garbage cart was skipped?

If we accidentally missed collecting your garbage even though it was at the curb on time, contact us at (515) 283-4950 or complete the online Garbage Request Form.

What you should know before you report a skipped collection:

  • Garbage collection carts must be curbside by 7 a.m. on collection day
  • Garbage collection carts put out after 7 a.m. on collection day will be subject to a $25 collection fee
If your cart was placed properly and on time, you have until 5 p.m. the day after your scheduled collection to report our mistake (which we'll fix for free). Missed collections reported after 5 p.m. the following day will be subject to a $25 collection fee.

How do I request carts for new construction?
Instead of starting your garbage service when you sign up for Des Moines Water Works service, new construction homes should contact the Department of Public Works Customer Service Call Center at (515) 283-4950 or Submit a Garbage and Yard Waste Collection Request Form. 

There is no fee for garbage carts needed for new construction, a cart will be provided.
What do I do if I'm moving?
Leave the cart behind. The cart is the property of the City of Des Moines and is assigned to customers by physical address.
How do I replace a lost or stolen garbage cart?
To request a Garbage cart you may contact the Department of Public Works, 24-Hour Customer Service Center at (515)283-4950 or you may request a cart online using the Garbage Request Form

Lost or stolen carts require a replacement fee that will be billed on the next water bill.
Service  Fee Notes
 64 Gallon Garbage Cart Replacement $37.00   
 96 Gallon Garbage Cart Replacement  $40.00  
What do I do if my garbage cart or lid is broken?
To report a broken cart or lid, contact us at (515) 283-4950 or Submit a Garbage and Yard Waste Collection Request Form. There is no fee charged for cart repairs or exchanges.
How do I request an additional garbage cart?
  • Additional carts are available upon request.

  • Contact us at (515) 283-4950 to order an additional cart (or) you can Submit a Garbage and Yard Waste Collection Request Form. 

  • Additional carts require a 6-month commitment. Carts returned prior to 6 months will be charged a $25 early retrieval fee.  

  • Fees will be billed to your Des Moines Water Works bill.  

Service   Fee  Notes
 Additional 64 Gallon Garbage Cart  $12.35 per month  Requires 6 month commitment
 Additional 96 Gallon Garbage Cart  $13.45 per month  Requires 6 month commitment